Sustainable Laundry Solutions
Consumers are more aware now than ever of the ethical and environmental impacts associated with their clothing purchases. Thrifting among 18 to 24 year olds is at an all time high as people look for sustainable solutions. And, while making changes to the way we shop is a step in the right direction, some changes need to be made at home. Did you know that you create most of the carbon footprint of your clothes when you wash them?
According to Energy Star, the internationally recognized and trusted organization for high efficiency, the average household does about 400 loads of laundry a year, consuming about 51,103 litres of water. And, that’s not all, a single washing machine emits approximately 73 kilogram of GHG emissions per year. In addition, the average household also runs their dryer 200 times a year.
So, what can we do to lessen the impact?
Wash in Cold Water
A whopping 90% of the energy a washing machine consumes is spent heating the water. So, washing your clothes in cold water will not only reduce your energy consumption and CO2 emissions, but also save you money on your energy bill.
Use Less Detergent
Using less detergent will actually make your clothes cleaner as less of it is left behind in the fibres. It also reduces the number of rinse cycles required and keeps more detergent out of the water supply – a win-win-win!
Opt for Natural Products
Detergents can contain several chemical compounds that have negative environmental effects. Phosphates, in particular, can lead to freshwater algal blooms that release toxins and deplete oxygen in waterways, essentially starving aquatic life and ruining the ecosystem. Look for natural laundry detergents, like Mrs. Meyer’s, that keep clothes clean without the harsh chemicals.
Use a Faster Spin Cycle
The spin cycle is important as it extracts moisture from your clothes at the end of the wash cycle. Simply put, the faster the spin, the drier the clothes, which reduces additional drying time in the dryer.
Hang Clothes to Dry
It’s a fact, hanging clothes on a line or rack to dry is much more gentle than tossing them in the dryer. Not only do you avoid the wear and tear and possible heat damage of drying in the dryer, hanging clothes to dry will reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere.